Ed Clark - New Now New York Wednesday, March 9, 2022 | Phillips

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  • Painted in 2002, Untitled encapsulates Ed Clark’s painterly experimentations throughout his career. Questioning the hallmarks of traditional painting that he studied at the Art Institute of Chicago, Clark sought new inspirations as a young artist in Paris. Surrounded by innovative expatriate artists and writers and looking to the works of esteemed painters, such as Nicholas de Stael, Clark began to focus on the materiality of paint as well as the physicality of color.



    Drawing from both the Minimalist generation as well as the American Abstract Expressionists, Clark placed his canvas flat on the ground in the 1950s, using unconventional materials in place of a paintbrush. Beginning with the push broom, and then, experimenting with rags, rollers and his hands to apply paint across the canvas, Clark innovatively drew attention to the application of paint itself and conjured images of grand landscapes and horizons. Untitled exemplifies Clark’s signature style; his unique process is emulated through the long, horizontal, unbroken sweeps of color, which emanate a sense of monumental movement.

    "It struck me that if I paint a person—no matter how I do it—it is a lie. The truth is in the physical brushstroke and the subject of the painting is the paint itself."
    — Ed Clark

    Untitled, a superb example from his mature oeuvre, also depicts Clark’s lifelong curiosity in paint’s material properties, as the grooved strokes created by the broom appear simultaneously liquid and solid; his paintings are almost a performance. Clark pooled and poured paint, guiding it around the unprimed canvas with a broom, connecting the histories of American abstraction and high art with manual labor. Accentuated by washes of white, purple, and deep purple, the composition of Untitled evokes a vast landscape or horizon. Though never departing from pure abstraction, Clark’s palette embodies his subjective impressions of time and place. Extending the language of American abstraction, Clark’s oeuvre is remarkably original as he investigated the potentiality of paint, resulting in a unique artistic vision.

    • Description

      The present work arrives at auction from the collection of the late Dallas-based collectors Sam and Helga Feldman to support the Feldman Foundation, a philanthropic organization supporting various important charities. Committed arts patrons in the Dallas area, the Feldmans offered longstanding support to cultural initiatives in that city and elsewhere. From their early mentorship of then-emerging artist Jean-Michel Basquiat to later support of institutions and organizations including the Dallas Museum of Art, the Feldmans were tireless advocates for the arts and culture. Their philanthropic support continues today through the Feldman Foundation, which strives to support various important charities in Dallas and elsewhere.

    • Provenance

      Acquired directly from the artist by the present owner in 2002

    • Artist Biography

      Ed Clark

      American • 1926 - 2019

      Born in pre-Civil Rights era New Orleans, Clark joined the Air Force at age 17 and served in Guam during World War II. Afterwards, he utilized the GI Bill by enrolling in the School of The Art Institute of Chicago and later the Académie de la Grande Chaumière in Paris. Perceiving that his race would impact the future of his career less in France than in the United States – he noted that “The French never put race on ID cards”– Clark decided to reside in Paris even after the expiration of his GI bill before settling in New York in the late 1950s.

      Though associated with Abstract Expressionism, Ed Clark continuously and audaciously transformed his artistic language over a career spanning six decades. His experiments with color, form, and shaped canvas are a testament to his restless inventiveness, a quality inspired by the cultures of the many places he’s resided in and traveled to, including New York, Paris, Morocco, Brazil, Greece, Yucatan, Martinique, Nigeria, and China. From his figurative works to his egg-shaped abstract pieces, Clark has always imbued his art with a delicate balance of colorful energy and peaceful tranquility.

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Property from the Estate of Sam and Helga Feldman Sold to Benefit the Feldman Foundation



signed and dated "Clark 2002" on the reverse
acrylic on canvas
28 x 22 in. (71.1 x 55.9 cm)
Painted in 2002.

Full Cataloguing

$70,000 - 100,000 

Sold for $163,800

Contact Specialist

Avery Semjen

Head of Sale, New Now

212 940 1207


New Now

New York Auction 9 March 2022